I threw up on my wedding night.

I don’t know where to start the story. Which is why instead of starting, I got some pizza, looked through some photos of friends of people I am friends with on Facebook, and watched an episode of Castle on Hulu. Then I clicked open a blank Word document, and here I am. Typing and looking at my hands on the dirty keyboard. Chipping turquoise nails, gold wedding band. Because I’m married. And when you don’t know where or how to start, the best thing to do is just start.

The world wants to ask me, “Does it feel different? How does it feel?”

And my answer is, “It feels different.” I think I’m supposed to say, “It feels exactly the same.” Because after all, we already loved each other a lot, and we were already living together, as most young modern couples are when they get married, and neither of us were virgins, as people (women) used to try to pretend to be back somewhere in depressingly recent history, and we’re pretty down to earth in general. We don’t run around dramatically with our feelings flapping in the wind. But it feels different. I can’t quite explain how, so I’ll tell you this:

I threw up on my wedding night.

Everyone was leaving. There were only a few people left at the venue. I was still in my dress, Bear was in his tux, we were trying to leave, but there were all these gifts, piled on a table by the doors. And we didn’t know how to get them home. I’d been smiling hysterically for about eight hours straight, and suddenly, I felt like I was going to fall over. Actually fall over, not just the way people say that to mean other things, like, “I was so happy and tired!” No. It hit me like a truck. It wasn’t cute. I was going to fall down. I leaned on Bear.

Then we were outside. People were still talking to me. They were carrying the gifts down to a cab. I was by the fence, at the bottom of the steps, in my enormous dress, sinking towards the sidewalk. My dress was a parachute. It was a nest. I was tiny in the middle of it. People driving by slowed down and stared. I could barely speak. I was going to throw up.

I was married. Bear was married. He had a gold ring on his finger. He looked like a married man in it. That’s what he kept saying when we tried on the rings, after we bought them. “Don’t I look married?” Then he’d make this little punching motion.

“Why are you punching?” I asked. “Why does wearing a wedding ring make you want to punch things?”

“It shows off the ring,” he said.

Masculinity. They need more options. Sigh.

I sang during the ceremony. A Hebrew love song. Neshama Carlebach backed me up. I was backed up by Neshama Carlebach, an actual Jewish popstar who I recently somehow became friendly with over the course of an intensive period of me following her around like an especially small and decidedly lost puppy. Yes, I was. She was singing harmony. And her band was playing. I was looking at Bear, and singing, and I wasn’t nervous at all. I wasn’t anything but happy.

In fact, I was more than happy. I was a fluttering thing, caught between a line that led to the ground, and the wide open chaos of infinity. I thought perfectly mundane things, like, when I walked down the aisle, “Don’t trip. You’re going to trip. Slide your feet, don’t take real steps. Don’t inhale the veil. Are you sucking the veil up your nose? Don’t trip. Oh, shit. Here are the stairs. How many petticoats does this damn thing have? A whole orphanage of starving children in an impoverished country somewhere could be clothed with the petticoats of this dress.” But then I also thought things that didn’t have any words, because they were too big. Things about how wildly proud of Bear I was. I was proud of the way all of the lines of his face worked when he smiled like that. I was proud of him for existing. I was overwhelmed by us existing at the same time, standing there together, getting married.

(Thank you, Ahu, for the iphone pics. They are perfect)

Before the ceremony began, I made everyone leave the bridal room (bridal chambers? It looked like a chamber. That sounds slightly medieval and creepy), and I sat there, alone, looking at myself in the mirror. It was suddenly intensely quiet.

There I was, in my gigantic dress, and my veil. With my hair doing something it would never do on its own, or even if I begged it. With only the faintest touch of makeup. I looked like myself. I had not been transformed into a fairytale princess. I hadn’t been airbrushed. I was me, wearing a wedding gown and a frothy veil. I was beautiful, and problematic. I looked different from different angles. In one mirror, I looked stunning. In the one beside it, I looked awkward and ill-proportioned. I had exactly the same disagreements with my face that I usually have, and in that moment, strung with nerves and two minutes away from being married, I was relieved to see myself, with all of my complicatedness, in those mirrors. I was glad of looking exactly like I would have expected, had I given it proper thought, and appreciative of my beauty, and unmoved by my flaws. It was me, after all, getting married. Not an exquisite fantasy woman or a covermodel from a bridal magazine or anyone else. And I liked knowing that the old Kate, who wore jeans and a flannel shirt and never brushed her hair, was there for me, even now. Because she was the one who I was going to be for the rest of my life. And getting married is all about the rest of your life.

Everyone mentioned pastrami in their toasts. We ate pastrami for dinner. Not that I got to eat very much. That much is true. A bunch of people told me I’d probably not get a chance to eat. I also didn’t notice the flowers. Or even the music, really. I didn’t see what the tables looked like, set up. I saw individual people’s faces, when they came up to me, and I felt the fabric of Bear’s tuxedo under my hands, and I tried to find my feet inside the dress. I didn’t, somehow, worry even once that my breasts would pop out if I raised my arms. That was a triumph, in retrospect.

I lifted my arms as we danced at the center of circles of people who were cheering and yelling and laughing. I didn’t think about my arms being chubby. At some point, my dress split open down the back, surrendering. My friend Elena was trying to rehook all of the tiny hooks, and I was still laughing.

There were waves of happiness sweeping over everything, so that the colors blurred and blended together, and everyone’s smiles looked exactly the same, and a whirlpool formed around Bear and I, and sucked all the happiness in, faster and faster and faster around us.

So it makes a little bit of sense that abruptly, when it was all over, I was so sick I couldn’t stand. All that spinning. Happiness so extreme it nearly crushed me. My body had no idea how to process it all. It had never felt like that before. It had never had to handle so much emotion, all at once.

On the cab ride back to our apartment, I tried to tell myself, “You’re married!” but I could only tell myself, “Don’t throw up yet. Wait for the toilet.” And I did. Which was also a triumph.

Then I curled up in bed in one of Bear’s tee-shirts. Bear got in bed with me, and said, “Can you believe we’re married?”

“I threw up all over our wedding night,” I said.

“It’s really OK,” he said. “Can I get you anything?”

“Sorry,” I said.

He laughed. It really was OK. I fell asleep.

(My dress and his vest have become quite good friends. Also, I left the garment bag at the venue, so I have no idea what to do with the dress now. I can’t just leave it on the back of the bedroom door forever! What do people do with these things??)

*  *  *  *

Un-Roast: Today I love how my hair looks when I don’t bother to shower for a day and I’m on the beach. It’s great! Showering is overrated! (When you’re on the beach. Otherwise, no. Definitely shower.)

P.S. The awesome woman, Katherine Nolan Brown, who did my hair and makeup is a friend of Virginia’s (Beauty Schooled). I love how the world of blogging and what some skeptical, irascible people without internet access like to refer to as the “real world” continue to overlap in interesting and exciting ways.


Kate on October 21st 2010 in beauty, body, life, wedding

44 Responses to “Wedding”

  1. ahu responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    love this post…. as for the vomiting – it just adds to the story (although i’m sure it wasn’t pleasant during). what a beautiful day and thank you for letting us have a glimpse into your ‘love story’ as simon said!


  2. Joanne responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    “Why are you punching?” I asked. “Why does wearing a wedding ring make you want to punch things?”

    “It shows off the ring,” he said.

    That is too too cute!

    Congrats, once again. I love reading these posts about you and Simon.

  3. Kate responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    You two are ruining my efforts to keep his real name and identity a secret!

    But I suppose it had to come out sometime, anyway….

  4. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 8:17 pm #


    You went beyond “so happy you cry” all the way to “so happy you vomit”. That’s impressive. I bet it’s a sign that you have a very happy future ahead of you. I just hope that you can stomach it all ;)

  5. Kerry responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    I think that this may be the best wedding recap I have ever read.

    This makes me even more excited for mine in December, if it can have one ounce of the meaning you talked about here.


  6. Ellie Di responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Isn’t it funny how it all seems like a blur afterward and you realise you didn’t notice all those tiny things that gave you ulcers for weeks? I’m so amazingly happy for you that you were (are!) so happy. Cheers.

  7. Wei-Wei responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    I just cannot believe how much I want to cry when I read this. Congratulations, Kate – you’re amazing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bawl my eyes out.

  8. San D responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    You take your beautiful dress to Jackie at the drycleaner. She will clean it and “box it up” for you, and then you can do what a lot of brides do, put it in your attic for your daughter who will most probably use it for dress up day.

  9. Layla responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 11:24 pm #

    Beautifully written! Congrats on your marriage.

  10. Kim NYC responded on 21 Oct 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Beautiful- barf and all. Congratulations to you both! :)

  11. Barbara Ward responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 12:12 am #

    “It shows off the ring.” I can so see Simon punching and saying that! Your writing brings it all to life. So much for anonymity. “Kate and Simon, Kate and Simon.” How I love hearing your names linked together.

  12. zoe (and the beatles) responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 2:52 am #

    congratulations! wonderful, emotional, touching piece, kate. your happiness truly comes through in this post! i wish nothing but the best for you and bear. happy newly wed-dom!

  13. AlisonM responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 3:19 am #

    This was a beautiful post. It cut through all the BS and gloss of weddings, and gave us what it was for you. I love that you ended up in Bear’s t-shirt after throwing up. Now that’s marriage.

    Congratulations to both of you.

    ps – ever since I started reading Cake I have been unroasting on my little ickle running blog every day. I link back to you — but I hope that’s ok. It’s made such a difference to me. And other people love it too. Women are so scared to say nice things about themselves…

  14. Stefanie responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Congratulations! :)

  15. Mystery guest responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 7:42 am #

    Throwing up seems to be a pattern…. Think about it… Think about the story I love to tell about you, about how much you can love someone and the “disgusting” things that they can do that are not disgusting at all because you love them so much.

    Tell your story often… I do!

    Love you!

  16. Debbie responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Oh Kate. I never told you that I broke out in hives as I was walking down the aisle. My mom kept saying “what is wrong with your chest?!” I had to have some of the wedding pics retouched!

    The wedding (and recap) were magical. You two are definitely destined for greatness. This is just the beginning. Love you.

    - Deb

  17. Pretty Price Check (10.22.10) « Beauty Schooled responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 8:43 am #

    [...] talented makeup artist friend Katherine do her hair and makeup, which meant she got to look beautiful and problematic and just like her own self wearing a fancy dress, not like Transvestite Barbie as she feared. [...]

  18. Kate responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Don’t worry, it will! There’s not a chance that it won’t.

    Thank you for un-roasting!! I’m so excited and flattered that you’re doing that on your blog!

    Hives? Excellent. I’m in good company.

  19. Kate responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 11:28 am #

    @Mystery Guest
    Your identity is no mystery to me :) And sorry about that. I know I was a baby, but it was still gross. Love you.

  20. Susan F responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I threw up on my wedding night too! Guess we’re both in good company. As for what-to-do with that dress…I had mine “preserved” (costs a few dineros but worth it). Preserving gets out all the spots you may have gotten on it, presses it, and puts it in an airtight box. I always wondered if the preservation really did what it was touted to do – IT DOES! I opened the airtight box on my 25th wedding anniversary and surprised my husband by wearing it as we renewed our vows in synagogue. (Of course, buttoning up the back was impossible…). It was SO worth it. I even let Leah try it on! (It fits her, by the way…wink! wink! nod! nod!) PRESERVE IT! Spend the bucks and do it. It’s well worth it.

  21. SR responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Beautiful day, beautiful bride, beautiful story. And honestly getting sick just makes it more REAL and hence more beautiful. Congrats, congrats, congrats!

  22. Meghan responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    I too threw up on my wedding night in a not so pretty way. As for the wedding dress, I left it balled up on a chair for months. I just liked looking at it there.

    I loved your story. Kerry is right, this is the best wedding story that I have ever read.

  23. EcoYogini responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    YAY! Congrats :) You know what’s funny- this weekend I wasn’t happy *until* I walked down the grassy aisle to meet Andrew. All this ‘on the day of your wedding you won’t be stressed anymore’ is a load of shit. I was totally stressed…. until the ceremony.
    Then it was perfection.

    I also totally get the vomiting part. Had a few moments too. :)

    Much Light to you and your wonderful new husband (your dress looks so beautiful! Mine is also hanging in our closet, but in a bag… so not as pretty as yours :) ).

  24. Elizabeth responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Congratulations, Kate! I’m so happy for you and your hubby.

  25. caronae responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Congratulations Kate! I have always imagined that my wedding night would be dizzying and overwhelming too. I totally understand. That’s kind of how I feel about most major life events.

    Hope you’re enjoying married life!

  26. Liz responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Kate! Thanks for your lovely blog!
    I have been following your story from CA ever since your new F-I-L told me that little Bear was engaged! Congratulations!!!

    My husband brews beer for a living and I was determined not to over-indulge on my wedding day. Instead, my will persevered and I threw up in the airport bathroom the morning after my wedding, on our way out of the country on our honeymoon (6 months ago)! Not sure how I kept it in until the next morning…amazing what immense joy plus alcohol does!

    I still have my wedding dress bagged up and hanging in the hallway…tried to sell it on craigslist a few times, but the ad expires after a week or so…too lazy to repost every week! My dress was much more simple than yours- I’d agree with the other replies- you might want to preserve yours (if you don’t, it will turn an uneven yellow, like my mom’s that she tried to save for me)…

  27. Mary responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Ahh Kate congratulations! I’m so happy for you guys.

    I have no doubt that I will spend my wedding night in a snotty crying mess. I can’t imagine the flood of emotions of the whole day.

  28. JStolk responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    Congratulations! Your wedding sounds perfect and amazing and beautiful. When I got married we did an early afternoon ceremony, I got home by 3pm and slept until 10am the next day, I woke up in my dress and everything. Wedding days are a lot of work!

  29. Ragen Chastain responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    This post brings together everything that I adore about your writing. It is at once authentic, funny, gritty, and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this and hugest possible congratulations :)


  30. Rebecca responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    I love that you didn’t pretty up the story–
    it’s real, lovely, and hilarious,
    just like you.


    (also? every single one of my best girl friends has been sick/on her period/had to go to the ER on her wedding night. every. single. one. *yikes*)

  31. Rebecca responded on 22 Oct 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    ps (happy marriage to you, lady!)

  32. Dana responded on 23 Oct 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Such a wonderful post! I love the fact that you are such good friends with yourself, and that you stayed connected to yourself during the chaos and craziness. That’s a huge feat.

    In a rush to avoid sentimentality and make room in my closet, I donated my dress. I have had many second thoughts about this. I hope that someone uses it and loves it, but it’s sad to know that I’ll never touch the fabric again. Think hard before you make that choice.

    Best wishes to you and Bear!

  33. janetha g @ meals & moves responded on 23 Oct 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    first of all, congratulations to you!!!!!! so happy for you both. second, you described what a wedding is like to a T. i was nodding along the whole time. you have such a knack for writing. i’m glad you are married. i love you as much as someone can love someone they have never met :)

  34. MWN responded on 25 Oct 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    “Masculinity. They need more options.”

    Hilarious!!!! And true.

  35. dalisalvadorade responded on 30 Oct 2010 at 2:51 am #

    This was a beautiful post, and CONGRATULATIONS!
    There is often a preconceived idea of what a wedding is supposed to be like, and while your wedding was just as beautiful, I like that it was real. I wish you the best Kate!! And I’ve missed reading your blog! :)

  36. alexandria responded on 11 Nov 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    immediately after our wedding, i realized, “holy crap, i have to pee so bad i’m in pain.” i hadn’t bothered to go to the bathroom all night, and a part of that was not wanting to force anyone to help me with my giant dress. so, my wedding night started off with my husband getting me out of my dress as quickly as possible… while i was practically in tears because my bladder hurt so bad. and then i rushed off to the bathroom to relieve myself. sexy.
    congrats on your wedding, but more importantly, your marriage.
    i’ve been married 6 months (officially on the 15th), and i still get a little giddy to call him my husband.

  37. Eat the Damn Cake » Marriage! responded on 25 Jun 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    [...] Even though I ruined the rest of the night by throwing up. [...]

  38. Eat the Damn Cake » (finally) a summary of the whole weird and wild wedding experience responded on 19 Jul 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    [...] might want to redo the wedding night, too, which concluded with me throwing up, and crawling miserably into bed, wearing one of Bear’s t-shirts and feeling like I was [...]

  39. A letter to my future self…. responded on 28 Feb 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    [...] to be Superbride.) 5. Don’t forget yourself at any time. I’m planning to re-read this post just before we do the deed. It’s an amazing thing. In it, Kate explains that under the [...]

  40. Eat the Damn Cake » I love you, Carl Sagan responded on 05 Jun 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    [...] funny how I managed to find that guy, in real life. He’s Bear. And of course, I quickly married [...]

  41. Eat the Damn Cake » the stories your shoes tell responded on 28 Jul 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    [...] be sitting for hours. Still, shoes are oddly meaningful. When I wore $20 discount flats to my wedding, it felt a little like a statement. And even though sneakers are totally practical, I feel [...]

  42. Eat the Damn Cake » stop judging my diamond ring, I already know I’m a bad rebel responded on 25 Oct 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    [...] but whatever. I wasn’t just me that day, I was Bride. I liked being her and me at the same time. Regular me would never wear that, but I sort of wished I could [...]

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